Adidas has opened its checkbook up to add big names to its list of endorsing players: James Harden, Derrick Rose, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Wiggins, John Wall, and on down the line. How much that has helped is up for debate, but the shoe wars have been back the past couple years as Adidas goes after every potential star.
Now add Kristaps Porzingis — the man carrying the hopes of all Knicks fans — to the list.
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has signed a multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deal with adidas, sources told The Vertical.
The deal will pay Porzingis, 21, between $3 million and $6 million annually, depending on incentive bonuses met. It’s the most lucrative shoe deal signed by a European player to date.
Nike, his previous sponsor, has until mid-October to match the exact terms of the adidas contract because of the brand’s standard “right to match” clause, but Nike is not expected to match the deal, sources said.
Porzingis played in Kobe Elite Highs last season (a lighter shoe than most bigs prefer).
Adidas put together a package of money and marketing that is more than Nike apparently wants to spend. Which seems a little surprising considering the market and the popularity of the player, but on the flip side big men have never sold shoes (guards and wings have always had more success with signature brands).
If Porzingis develops into what Knicks fans dream… well, that may be an unreasonable standard, some Knicks fans expect him to walk on water. But if he leads the Knicks back to contention, this could be a steal.
(And if all you’re going to do in the comments is make a “joke” about his knees/ankles now, do better. That isn’t why guys get injured.)